This day has been full of so many twists and turns, I’m not even sure where to begin. To keep things simple, I suppose I should begin at ‘the beginning’. ‘The beginning’ involved waking around 9:30 am and heading directly to the restroom. After emptying my bladder, washing my hands, brushing my teeth, and splashing some water on my face, I exited the restroom and entered the basement TV room. It was in the TV room where I encountered my husband (with a very concerned and cross look on his face) seated at a table. There was no denying that something was wrong, but when I asked him what was going on, he wouldn’t come right out and say it. Instead, he made a motion towards the bedroom and said we needed to speak privately. “Did I do something wrong?” I asked. “No,” he responded. He then revealed that he’d overheard his sister and brother-in-law discussing Covid and how there was a possibility his brother-in-law may have been exposed to it. They’d been talking about it in hushed tones at the dining room table when my husband was in the kitchen (a few feet away), and he’d heard everything they’d said.
If you want to get my husband wound up in a hurry, all you need to do is bring up potentially exposing me to Covid. He has been so protective of me ever since I had my kidney transplant and he knows if I were to contract Covid, it’d likely be ‘Game Over’. I think he’s more worried about it than I am. When he overheard his sister discussing it with her husband, he became incensed. It was immediately after this occurred, that I encountered him in the TV room. When we finally had an opportunity to speak privately, he shared his concerns with me, and suggested that maybe we should look for accommodations elsewhere. “Where would we go?” I asked, “The only real option we have is a hotel.” I then added, “If we have been exposed, we would have to quarantine, and wouldn’t even be able to leave the room. If we did, we’d run the risk of making other people sick.” Life suddenly became very complicated. I put on a mask and got busy making phone calls to several of the nearby nephrology clinics. I wanted to ensure that if I did become sick, I had a qualified kidney specialist on standby. After contacting three different clinics in the area, in addition to reaching out to my former nephrologist, I was able to make it happen.
I still hadn’t had anything to eat by then and was about to gnaw off my own arm, so I paused to make my customary scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, and banana breakfast. As I was preparing it, on his way out the door, my brother-in-law walked over to me. He tried to reassure me that even though the person he’d been exposed to a couple of days prior had exhibited the signs of Covid, more than likely the cause of their symptoms was a sinus infection. My sister-in-law essentially said the same thing a few minutes later when she stopped by the kitchen to speak with me. I shared what each had said with my husband but he wasn’t buying the whole ‘sinus infection’ story. “They’re making assumptions!” he angrily stated. “What are we supposed to do?” I asked him, “If it is Covid, the damage has already been done. We’ve been living in the same space and breathing in the same air for the last two days.” I was only thinking about us at the time but my husband was thinking about the bigger picture. He was thinking ahead to Thursday when there’s supposed to be a funeral followed by a reception for his stepmom.
Oh, crap! I hadn’t thought about that. Ordinarily, ‘the show must go on’, but that’s not the wisest move to make when Covid is involved. My husband came up with the most extreme ‘worst case scenario’ and without taking you down the many dark rabbit holes his imagination took him, I’ll sum it up in one word, ‘sh*tshow’. “I can see it now,” he said, “We’re going to be on the national news for participating in one of those super-spreader events!” I really wasn’t sure what to do at that point because nothing had yet been proven. To her credit, my sister-in-law had reached out to her female cousin (the person presumed to have Covid) and asked her to go in and get tested (just to be sure). She did go in right away but there was a problem. The technician who did the test told her that the results wouldn’t be available for three days. Huh? Three days?! Three days is a long time when you think about the far-reaching impact of Covid. “Why would it take three days?” I asked my sister-in-law, “When I had it done, it took less than 30 minutes.” It didn’t make sense to me nor anyone else. “I’m going to call her back and see if she can have a rapid test done elsewhere,” my sister-in-law stated.
After multiple texts and phone calls between her and her cousin, she let me know that her cousin eventually went to an emergency room and was able to get the rapid test done for $100. It was around that time that our realtor showed up. She was going to take us around to check out several active real estate listings. We had both masked up and as we approached her vehicle, we told her about the situation. She wasn’t concerned about it because she’d already had Covid, but she masked up, too. We then went on our way. My friends, what a disappointment! We drove to 5 different cities in order to look at homes within our price range and they were all garbage! We looked at a home that had just gone ‘live’ that morning. The neighborhood was nice but the house was less than desirable. Whoever owned it did everything ‘on the cheap’. Other than the fact that it was ‘clean’, I don’t have anything positive to say about it. Rather than doing things the right way, the homeowners tried to conceal a lot of things with paint. They painted over busted up cabinets, countertops, rotten siding, and even the bathtub.
The sad part is, by the end of the day, the home already had 3 offers. Three!! It was at the upper end of our budget and required tens of thousands of dollars of upgrades and repairs, and three different families were fighting over it. I couldn’t believe it. At least, around the time our realtor shared the news about the multiple bids, we heard back from my sister-in-law. The test her cousin took earlier in the day came back negative! Thank, God!! What wonderful news! I needed some good news after looking at one disappointing, overpriced house after another throughout the afternoon. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like few people have ‘pride of ownership’ these days. The condition of the homes we looked at was appalling and I can guarantee you, they will sell (well over the asking price). It blows my mind because we were meticulous about everything being perfect when we decided to sell ours. It’s so frustrating because even though I have been adamant about not returning to the city we used to live in because of all of the ‘ghosts’, I’m beginning to reconsider.
Based on what I saw today, it’s the only place we’re going to be able to find a decent home within our budget. I now find myself in a predicament because if I live elsewhere in order to avoid running into a bunch of people from my past (‘ghosts’) who I’d prefer never to see again (because it sends me into a tailspin), the odds of finding a decent, affordable home are essentially the same as the odds of winning the lottery, about 1 in 13,983,816. Those aren’t good odds, by the way. I call that the ‘sh*ty house, zero ‘ghosts” combo. On the other hand, if I choose to purchase a home and live in the same city I left/ran away from seven years ago, the odds of finding a beautiful, well maintained, affordable home are about 1 in 5. Those are fantastic odds! The issue with that is, I can ‘look forward to’ running into one of the ‘ghosts’ from my past at least once a week or more. They’re everywhere! For this reason, I call this option the ‘fabulous home, ‘ghosts’ coming out the wazoo’ combo. I enjoy watching programs about ghosts on television, but it’s unsettling to encounter them in real life on a regular basis.
If a ghost wants to hang out in my attic and rattle a few chains at night, I can live with that. If they want to wander the halls or turn the lights on and off or even hover over my bed, I’m not going to argue with them. However, running into them at the grocery store, the library, the gym, the park, or in countless other places on a weekly basis is extremely intimidating and frightening! Help!! I don’t know what to do! I don’t want to move into a sh*tty house and live there for the rest of my ‘natural’ life in order to avoid ‘ghosts’, but the other option doesn’t seem very viable either. My sister-in-law suggested we buy an RV and live like vagabonds but I really need a place to ‘nest’. Wandering from place to place in a home on wheels (that continually depreciates) does not sound like my idea of a good time. My realtor assured us that miracles happen all of the time and stated that she was certain we’d eventually find something we absolutely loved. I hope she’s right, but I’m skeptical. I’ve been skeptical about things before and have been proven wrong, and I would love to be proven wrong in this particular case.
At least we have a temporary place to stay while we search for our ‘dream home’. It’s not paradise but I cannot complain (much). My father-in-law has been exceptionally kind and generous and refuses to accept any compensation for allowing us to stay in his home. I just wish he’d stop feeding my dog ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, but what am I supposed to do about it? Like my husband said earlier today, “What can we possibly say? He’s letting us stay with him for as long as we’d like rent-free.” He’s right. What can we possibly say? In the coming weeks or months, I just hope my dog doesn’t gain 50 pounds and develop diabetes due to my father-in-law’s ‘generosity’. Sigh.